Flat White

Victoria has become a cautionary tale for Australia – and the world

30 July 2020

7:32 PM

30 July 2020

7:32 PM

With Victoria’s lockdown now in its 21st day, one would have thought after three weeks there would be some sign that the COVID-19 outbreak was coming under control. Instead, Victoria hit a new record for the number of daily cases, with 723 people testing positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Perhaps even more concerning was the fact the percentage of people testing positive for the virus rose to its highest level ever since the advent of mass testing in Victoria. On Thursday 3.63% of patients tested positive for the virus, compared with the previous high of 3.02% recorded on Monday.

 


Despite Victoria performing 53% fewer tests than on Sunday, Thursday’s record number of cases illustrates an outbreak that is not only not improving but may, in fact, be continuing to deteriorate significantly.

The exact reasons why this is occurring remain a hotly debated issue, with a number of different factors put forward as potential drivers of the outbreak. But one would imagine that one of the key elements defining the outbreak, is a lack of compliance with various containment measures.

Almost every day Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews holds a press conference, during which he often vents his frustration at the lack of compliance from a significant number of Victorian’s doing the wrong thing. While the Andrews government no doubt shares a sizable share of the blame for the current outbreak, Andrews is not wrong that the fate of Victoria now lies in the hands of the public.

Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak has become a cautionary tale for Australia and the world, of what can happen when there is insufficient compliance with virus containment measures and contact tracers become overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the number of cases.

As we discussed in Flat White last week, Victoria is now subject to the ‘public toilet theory of human behaviour’. Hopefully, those not complying with the containment measures start to do the right thing — before everything goes entirely to crap.

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